Do I have any talents?’ ’What if I’m not doing what’s right for me?’ ’What if I’m calling in life is completely different?’ questions of this kind run through the minds of thousands of people around the world regardless of their age.
If you’re one of those people, maybe it’s time to take a break and work out who it is you really are. It might sound difficult — and it is — but think about it logically and you’ll realise that the more you put it off, the longer you’ll be stuck in the same cycle of doubt and confusion about where you’re going in life.
To help you, here is a step-by-step guide to help you discover where your true talents lie.
Step 1: Recall all of your dreams
The first thing which you need to do is recall all of the real dreams you’ve had throughout your life — right back to childhood through to your school and college years, and finally as an adult. Write them down.
Step 2: Separate ’to have’ and ’to be’
Now that you’ve written down all your dreams, you need to separate them into two categories:
’To have’ dreams: those which involve you gaining posession of something you don’t have right now.
’To be’ dreams: those which involve you taking on some new role in life.
Now write out the ’to be’ dreams separately — we’re only going to work with them.
Step 3: What provoked a reaction in you?
Do you remember if you ever felt a quiver excitement when you looked on at someone else fulfilling a certain role in life? Do you want to be in their place? If so, write it down.
Step 4: What did you enjoy doing?
Note down any activities or hobbies which you have enjoyed doing in the past. What did you like doing when you were a child, or a teenager, and as an adult? What do you enjoy doing now?
Step 5: Get rid of what you don’t need
Look through all that you’ve written down so far. Think hard about each of your ’to be’ dreams, and see which ones still cause an emotional reaction in you — that feeling of excitement discussed in step 3. Now imagine yourself in those roles. What would you be doing at this moment if you were in that role? How do you feel?
Pay attention to how strong your emotional reaction is to imagining yourself in the various roles. Evaluate the strength of your reaction for each on a scale of 1 to 10.
Step 6: Strike out the worst
Now cross out all those ’to be’ dreams which you gave the lowest evaluation to in the previous step. These are dreams which you can afford to give up on right now — it’s clear that they no longer mean as much to you as they did in the past and you don’t need them any longer.
Step 7: Group things together
So, now you have a list of your real, innate goals for life. At the moment they’re all jumbled together in a list. Look at the list carefully and ask yourself — which of my dreams can I group together? Which ones are interconnected or in essence very similar?
Step 8: Name each group
Look closely at each group you’ve put together and give a name to each one. Each name should say something about one of your innate talents which led to a number of interconnected dreams.
Step 9: Look for connections between the groups
We’re almost there! Now you just need to find out what it is that connects the different groups together. Write down the names of the groups in a list. Think about how the existence of one group supports the existence of another. This exercise nearly always shows that there are connetions between the groups.
Step 10: Search for an outlet for your talents
Think about and then write down all of the possibilities for realising your dreams in real life. What area of professional or your personal life are we talking about here? What kind of activities does it involve? Do your dreams and talents have a bearing on more than one area of activity or profession? The more ideas you come up with here the better.
Step 11: Define your life’s purpose
So, now that you’ve got your list of potential outlets for your dreams and talents, evaluate each scenario on a scale of 1 to 10 — from the least to the most attractive idea.
Now it should be clear what concrete direction you need to go in to achieve what really interests you. If you can get there, you can be certain that the achievement of this dream will bring you real happiness in life. Because of course, when you know where your true talents lie and you have the opportunity to realise them, you’ll feel more confident and enthusiastic.